Soft, synthetic ballad "Dead Bodies" comes off like a smudgy photocopy of flat-toned Liz Phair guitar pop. Austin duo Beth Israel thus stays consistently, defiantly lo-fi on second album Dental Denial, the kind of rickety songwriting born out of aesthetic desires. These songs sound as if they've been left out in the sun, especially when a dulled, buzzy guitar coalesces with the vocals in "Living End" to form a single mushy pulp. It's certainly weird, but you're often left wondering if Beth Israel are in on the joke. Does the singer know he can't sing? Do the rinky-dink melodies become him? Why are the songs more memorable than good? Why do I keep coming back? (Thu., May 29, Red 7)
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